Kashmiri Separatists say no to Zubin Mehta Concert in September 2013

Call it cheap publicity stunt or a mockery of Democracy, but  Kashmiri Separatists Leaders don’t want the concert of World Famous Musician Zubin Mehta to take place in Kashmir on September 7.

They don’t even hesitate to bypass the Republic of India in expressing their dissent over the high-profile concert.  Hurriyat leader Syed Ali Geelani has appealed to Germany to call off the concert, saying it “legitimises state repression” in the conflict-riven territory.

Zubin Mehta

Zubin Mehta

Zubin Mehta is a Mumbai born Western Classical Musician. The German embassy in India is organizing the event with the help of the government as part of its wider engagement at the historic Shalimar Bagh in the Kashmir Valley.

The works of Beethoven, Hayden, and Tchaikovsky will be performed by the Bavarian State Orchestra from Munich, one of the well-known orchestras of the world. This will be a cultural tribute to Kashmir and its warm-hearted people, according to Ambassador Steiner.

Another Hurriyat leader, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has also  echoed Geelani’s call and suggested money for the concert would be better spent on a “Kashmir-German friendship hospital”.

“Musical concerts and killings can’t go hand-in-hand… Germany has to understand the ground situation,” he told reporters.

According to a report, Grand Mufti of Kashmir  Bashir-ud-Din has also asked Germany Government to call off the concert.

Since Kashmir is a disputed area, the holding of such a concert would definitely send a wrong signal to the outside world.” Mufti Bashir-ud-Din was quoted saying. Mufti Bashir-ud-Din was in news recently, when he opposed the first all women rock band of Kashmir,  which forced them to quit. He had also asked a Christian priest to leave the valley after accusing him of engaging in religious conversions.

The state government has chosen silence over the mufti’s official status and the legitimacy of his sharia court. But he is seen at most official functions including those attended by chief minister Omar Abdullah.

Jammu & Kashmir police have said they are prepared for the event. “We have made elaborate security arrangements for it,” said IG (Kashmir range) AG Mir.

Not all Kashmiris oppose the concert. “It’s a lifetime opportunity to listen to timeless music live,” art critic Lalit Gupta told AFP.

German ambassador Michael Steiner said last week the concert was “for the people of Kashmir”.  “With the magic power of music, crossing geographical, political and cultural borders, we want to reach the hearts of the Kashmiris with a message of hope,” he said.

Mumbai born Zubin Mehta had announced last year at a reception in New Delhi he would like to play in Kashmir, adding he would “cancel every appointment” to do so.